Kindercare Learning Centre Karori - 20/03/2015

1 Evaluation of Kindercare Learning Centre Karori

How well placed is Kindercare Learning Centre Karori to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

Kindercare Learning Centre Karori is part of a national network that provides education and care for children from birth to five years of age. The centre opened in November 2013 and is one of seven early childhood education and care centres in the Wellington region, owned and operated by Kindercare Learning Centres Ltd. This is one of two reviews undertaken at the same time, of Kindercare centres in Wellington.

The service owners have a clear philosophy, policies and procedures and a framework for monitoring health and safety. An area manager works in partnership with the centre director to support the effective operation of the centre.

Children learn in a spacious, purpose-built centre. Infants, toddlers and older children are catered for in five age-specific rooms, each accessing shared outdoor play spaces. This is the centre's first ERO review.

The Review Findings

The centre philosophy is based on Kindercare values, ‘Safe, Loved and Learning’, and Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. These values are clearly reflected in centre practices.

Children confidently explore the environment, following their own interests and activities for extended periods of time. Self-directed play is highly evident. Relationships between teachers and children are warm and respectful. Children are encouraged to take responsibility for their learning.

Older children engage in an appropriate range of planned literacy, numeracy, and digital activities. These experiences are linked to the centre philosophy and focus on supporting children's readiness for their next stage of learning.

Staff practice for babies and toddlers reflects a culture of care, supporting younger children’s personal routines. Good two-way information sharing between home and centre is evident in daily journal entries. Children are well supported to transition into the centre and between rooms.

Teachers' curriculum planning and assessment practices are developing to be responsive to individual interests. The bicultural aspect of the centre's curriculum is at an early stage of development in most rooms. Teachers seek ways to reflect in the programme the cultural identities of children. Further work in planning, assessment and cultural responsiveness is a centre-identified focus for staff development in 2015.

Parents are provided with useful, regular information on their children’s progress. Assessment profiles are accessible, attractive and informative. Portfolios are shared online, which enables both teachers and parents to make regular comments on children’s learning and current interests. Parents also have a formal opportunity to discuss their children’s learning. Regular communication and strong relationships with families are valued by managers and teachers.

Daily operations are based on set routines. The centre should continue to regularly review routines to ensure they are appropriately responsive to all children’s individual needs.

Centre leaders model a collaborative, reflective approach and focus on practices that promote high quality care and education for children. They provide regular formal feedback that leads teachers to question and improve their practice. Teachers are encouraged to take on leadership roles and they are given opportunities to increase their capability and skills.

A high percentage of teachers were provisionally registered at the time of this review. These teachers are well supported through a centrally-delivered induction and mentoring programme. All teachers take part in a wide range of relevant professional development and are encouraged to share new learning with colleagues.

Kindercare governance and management systems are well established and provide a clear framework for centre operation. Roles and responsibilities of managers and leaders are clearly defined and well understood.

Managers and staff continue to develop their understanding of self review and evaluation. Teachers have conducted a number of reviews to examine the effectiveness for children of aspects of centre practice.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre managers agree, as the centre expands, they should further review, develop and embed current practices and processes.

Key next steps for development include further strengthening of:

  • programme planning and evaluation processes across the centre, to better guide practice and make the curriculum more visible to parents
  • bicultural perspectives in practice and documentation
  • cultural responsiveness within the programme. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kindercare Learning Centre Karori completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist.  In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • curriculum
  • premises and facilities
  • health and safety practices
  • governance, management and administration.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s systems for managing the following areas that have a potentially high impact on children's wellbeing:

  • emotional safety (including positive guidance and child protection)
  • physical safety (including supervision; sleep procedures; accidents; medication; hygiene; excursion policies and procedures)
  • suitable staffing (including qualification levels; police vetting; teacher registration; ratios)
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

All early childhood services are required to promote children's health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Kindercare Learning Centre Karori will be in three years. 

Joyce Gebbie
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

20 March 2015 

The Purpose of ERO Reports

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the government department that, as part of its work, reviews early childhood services throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. ERO’s reports provide information for parents and communities about each service’s strengths and next steps for development. ERO’s bicultural evaluation framework Ngā Pou Here is described in SECTION 3 of this report. Early childhood services are partners in the review process and are expected to make use of the review findings to enhance children's wellbeing and learning.

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service 

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

46282

Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

100 children, including 37 aged up to 2

Service roll

88

Gender composition

46 Boys, 42 Girls

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Chinese
Other ethnic groups

  6
62
  6
14

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2015

Date of this report

20 March 2015

Most recent ERO report(s) 

No previous ERO reports

3 General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

ERO’s Evaluation Framework

ERO’s overarching question for an early childhood education review is ‘How well placed is this service to promote positive learning outcomes for children?’ ERO focuses on the following factors as described in the bicultural framework Ngā Pou Here:

  • Pou Whakahaere – how the service determines its vision, philosophy and direction to ensure positive outcomes for children
  • Pou Ārahi – how leadership is enacted to enhance positive outcomes for children
  • Mātauranga – whose knowledge is valued and how the curriculum is designed to achieve positive outcomes for children
  • Tikanga whakaako – how approaches to teaching and learning respond to diversity and support positive outcomes for children.

Within these areas ERO considers the effectiveness of arotake – self review and of whanaungatanga – partnerships with parents and whānau. 

ERO evaluates how well placed a service is to sustain good practice and make ongoing improvements for the benefit of all children at the service.

A focus for the government is that all children, especially priority learners, have an opportunity to benefit from quality early childhood education. ERO will report on how well each service promotes positive outcomes for all children, with a focus on children who are Māori, Pacific, have diverse needs, and are up to the age of two.

For more information about the framework and Ngā Pou Here refer to ERO’s Approach to Review in Early Childhood Services.

ERO’s Overall Judgement and Next Review

The overall judgement that ERO makes and the timing of the next review will depend on how well placed a service is to promote positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed – The next ERO review in four years
  • Well placed – The next ERO review in three years
  • Requires further development – The next ERO review within two years
  • Not well placed - The next ERO review in consultation with the Ministry of Education

ERO has developed criteria for each category. These are available on ERO’s website.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews are tailored to each service’s context and performance, within the overarching review framework. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.